Innovation

The Vaal University of Technology Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (VUT AMP) functions as a service bureau supporting local industry, entrepreneurs, as well as providing research support to local and international researchers. The AMP consists of several competencies such as:

The Vaal University of Technology Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (VUT AMP) functions as a service bureau supporting local industry, entrepreneurs, as well as providing research support to local and international researchers. The AMP consists of several competencies such as:

  • Industrial design – support offered include research, ideation, concept development from 2D renditions to physical 3D modelling and modelling using 3D CAD software.
  • Additive Manufacturing (AM) – The additive manufacturing department consists of one of the largest compliment of polymer and sand 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing printers in South Africa.  Services offered include design for AM, file fixing and repairs and AM printing services.
  • The Engineering Manufacturing Unit (EMU) – EMU is equipped with CNC milling machines, CNC lathe and other conventional engineering machines and equipment. These include metal fabrication equipment for sheet metal, welding and other.
  • Robotic Milling – performs multi axial machining of large organic, free form and symmetrical items. Artefacts, prototypes and tooling are commonly produced in this unit.
  • Centre of Footwear Entrepreneurship (CoFE) – aims to build and improve capacity in the manufacturing of footwear and leather goods through skills development and product design.
  • Energy Optimization Unit (EOU) – The EOU service offering includes energy auditing, energy modelling and energy optimisation awareness and training.

The Technology Station focuses on assisting students, small and medium size enterprises & manufacturers in attaining their maximum potential, enabling them to contribute to economic growth, job creation and skills development in South Africa. To achieve this, we provide solution-orientated expert and training services in composites and metals-based products through technology transfer.

TS OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:

Industrial design I Testing & analysis I Product & process improvement I Prototyping I Training & technology demonstration

The Idea To Product Laboratory (I2P Lab) is an initiative within the Technology Transfer Initiative (TTI) department that offers skills development training in product development, making use of 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing. This training is offered to individuals, community groups, youth centres, school learners, students as well entrepreneurs from all works of life. The training offers participants access to entry level 3D printing technology and encompass the equipment usage and maintenance.

The lab also offers technology intervention and empowerment within communities in the forms of outreach programmes, excursions to showcase the 3D printing technologies on various platforms such as university open days, exhibitions, shows, on and off-campus training.

I2P Lab Training

The I2P Lab Basic 3D Design and 3D Printing Training is an upskilling within the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) ambit. This training offers skills development and training in areas of product development in the form of basic 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD), part modelling, as well as 3D printing

The I2P Lab and the training provided within it enable grassroots inventions by providing a platform where communities can have access to advanced tools that can help people make products to address local needs.

I2P Lab training activities includes, amongst others;

  • Training, short course and skills development in product development by making use of 3D design software and 3D printing technology
  • Technology Demonstrations
  • Information on 4IR and how 3D printing fits
  • Project development, from conception to final printed product
  • Manufacturing processes using 3D Printing technology
  • Mentoring and transfer of skills and technology

The training also empowers trainees to think outside the box, locally conceptualize, define, develop and design their own solutions to problems as well as offer new ways of thinking about addressing their own local problems. The training also serves as a bridge to the digital divide by making available and accessible Computer Aided Design and manufacturing.

I2P Lab Project Currently Underway: The Bellus3D Mask Fitter Frame

The Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUTSGSTP)’s Idea2Product (I2P) Lab is in collaboration with Maker Station in Woodstock, Cape Town, and 3D Printing Store, to produce facemask fitter frames for staff members at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, by making use of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, this being done to help minimise risks of contracting the virus by particularly those in the forefront of the fight against the spread COVID-19.

The Bellus3D Mask Fitter Frame

This collaboration was formed after Maker station approached VUT, requesting assistance with the manufacturing of Bellus3D Mask Fitter frames and the Idea to Product Laboratory (I2P Lab) is producing these frames making use of printers in the lab using ABS material sponsored by 3D Printing Store, this material donated to I2P lab through the office of its CEO, Mr Paul Cronje. These frames are personalised to the contour of a person’s face to improve the peripheral seal of surgical, KN95 or other masks. Using Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the preferred way of manufacturing for this project, as each frame is customised.

The aim is to print for all 1 500 staff members at the hospital and to date three sets of files (batches), comprising of a total of 288 3D CAD stl files, have been received and printed by the I2P lab.

The Triple P’ People, Productivity, and Profit are the defining ethos of Vaal University of Technology, which aims to empower the local youth to be self-sustainable through training occupational skills.

South Africa is a country rich in raw materials hence offering training in Footwear manufacturing will help the Shoe manufacturing sector to have a pool of work force that is able to supply the global village with high quality products

With the above in mind VUT has taken the initiative to run the following Shoe manufacturing qualifications that are divided into theoretical and practical training to bolster the Footwear Manufacturing sector

Occupational certificates

  • Footwear Closing Production machine operator (NQF level 2)
  • Footwear Bottom stock Production Machine operator (NQF level 2)
  • Footwear Lasting/Making Production Machine operator (NQF level 2)
  • Footwear Cutting Machine operator (NQF level 2)

The Energy Optimisation Unit provides access to professional services that offer optimal hybrid energy solutions tailored to YOUR (energy) needs. Alternative energy involves the development of systems utilising photovoltaic, fuel cell and fermentation technology, including those generating both electricity and heat. Water management entails the development of sustainable systems to ensure water supply and quality, as well as preserving the waste and contamination of available water resources.

EOU OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:

Alternative methods of energy production for industrial and domestic uses I Management of water resources.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OFFICE (TTO)

The Technology Transfer Office was established with the support of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), to exploit the university’s research projects and intellectual property for socio-economic impact to promote regional economic development. This purpose is also achieved by exploiting all commercial opportunities which may arise from within the institution including contract research, and commercial research, amongst others. In this regard, the office assists researchers, students, and community members with the protection, management, and exploitation of their Intellectual Property.

The TTO offers the following services:

  • Intellectual Property Services – Conducting Novelty Searches, Drafting & Filing Patent, Trademark & Design registrations, IP Administration.
  • Legal Support Services – MOU & MOA, Service Level Agreements, License Agreements.
  • Commercialisation and SMME Support Services – Market Analysis, Business Plan Drafting, Company Registration, VAT Registration.

Stategic Partners

  • Centre for Sustainable Livelihoods
  • French South African Schneider Electric Centre
  • ICBT
  • eKasi Lab
  • Dihlare Remedies

Networks

  • Casting Simulation Network (CSN)
  • Collaborative Program for Additive Manufacturing (CPAM)
  • merSETA
  • Fp&m SETA
  • Innovation Highway

Tech Platforms

  1. Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP)
  2. Technology Station (TS)
  3. Idea to Product (I2P)/Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab)
  4. Centre of Footwear Entrepreneurship (COFE)
  5. Energy Optimisation Unit (EOU)
  6. Technology Transfer Office (TTO)

Contacts

Reception: (016) 930 5023

info@sciencepark.ac.za

Public Relations and Marketing

(016) 930 5006/5025/5052

www.vut.ac.za

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